Departure dates have been finalized, field gear is being acquired, lose ends getting tied, doubt and anticipation setting in; I’ve singed the next 12 months of my life away to volunteer work on two remote islands in the Pacific. On March 17th I’ll be jumping aboard a vessel bound for the Farallon Islands, a cluster on granite outcroppings along the continental drop off 28 miles west of the iconic Golden Gate. The mission: handle, band, measure, monitor, and count a variety of noisy nesting seabirds for the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PROB). For 6 months I’ll be living in an old Victorian house on a pile of rocks covered with Common Murres, Western Gulls, Cassin’s Auklets, Ashy Storm Petrels, and a few other seasonal inhabitants which converge annually on the Farallon’s for one purpose; lay eggs. I’ll undoubtedly add to my collection of bird scars on my hands, trash my jacket with fresh guano, suffer temporary threshold shift from the squawking competing neighbors, and hopefully gain some inspiration in seabird research. To be honest, I just enjoy the experience of living in wild remote places.